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The Who announce first Cincinnati show 43 years after concert tragedy left 11 dead


The Who are returning to Cincinnati for the first time since the 1979 concert disaster that left 11 people dead.

On Monday (7 February), the British rock group announced the US dates of their new North American tour “The Who Hits Back”. More information can be found here.

The Who will travel across the US through April and May, as well as October and November, with fans delighted to see a show at the TQL Stadium in Ohio on 15 May among the dates.

It will mark the first time that the band have performed in Cincinnati since the fatal concert stampede occurred on 3 December 1979.

11 young fans were crushed to death while trying to get to the front of the sold-out crowd at the Riverfront Coliseum before The Who started playing. Eight others were seriously injured.

At the time, local police said that the tragedy occurred after two doors into the arena were opened too late, with a disgruntled fan throwing a bottle and smashing the doors glass.

“The kids kept breaking the gate more and more. I just couldn’t stop them. They rushed the gate,” Lieutenant Dale Menkhaus told local press at the time.

However, local authorities claimed that the show wasn’t over capacity.

Scenes of destruction at the venue after 11 died in 1979 incident

(Sipa/Shutterstock)

Police officer Dave Graw also commented that “the crowd must have jammed the people up so tightly in front that they just passed out. They didn’t even fall down. They must have jammed up so tight that they didn’t get any air and just died.”

In 2019, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey paid a visit to Finneytown High School to see memorials dedicated to three students – Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle and Karen Morrison – who had died in the crush.

The Who had been due to perform in Cincinnati in 2020, but the concert was cancelled due to the pandemic.

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